Leaders and Legends

Conversations with Indiana's most influential men and women presented by Veteran Strategies, Inc.

About the show


Leaders and Legends features some of Indiana’s most fascinating men and women whose impact has shaped our state, our communities, and us. Join us as we discuss their imprint on our history. The program is hosted by Robert Vane, principal of Veteran Strategies.

Leaders and Legends is brought to you by Veteran Strategies, Inc. your local veteran business enterprise specializing in public relations, media relations, public outreach, crisis communications, and digital photography. Learn more at www.veteranstrategies.com

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Episodes and Blog Entries

  • 58: Jamie Merisotis, CEO of the Lumina Foundation

    Episode  |  March 23rd, 2020  |  1 hr 2 mins

    Jamie Merisotis, CEO of the Lumina Foundation, is this week’s guest on the ‘Leaders and Legends’ podcast. Lumina is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. They are a critical engine in driving student access to, and success in, education after high school. We are incredibly fortunate to have Lumina headquartered right here in Indianapolis. Jamie is one of the most talented leaders in the world today—I hope you will listen to our podcast with him.

  • 57: Retrospective on the Life and Career of Mayor Bill Hudnut

    Episode  |  March 16th, 2020  |  1 hr 5 mins

    On this week’s ‘Leaders and Legends’ podcast, we discuss the career of the man more responsible than anyone else for Indianapolis’ magnificence and transformation: Mayor Bill Hudnut. We are joined by three people who worked with him and knew him as well as anyone: Joe Slash, Lesa Dietrick, and Dave Arland. If you love our city, you will love hearing about how Mayor Hudnut’s leadership made it happen.

  • 56: Jeff Smulyan, Founder and CEO of Emmis Communications

    Episode  |  March 9th, 2020  |  1 hr 6 mins

    Jeff Smulyan is one of Indianapolis’ most prominent and generous citizens. On this week’s “Leaders and Legends” podcast, Jeff joins us to discuss his career as an entrepreneur, being a proud Hoosier, his love of history, and how he invented the concept of sports talk radio.

  • 55: Federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker

    Episode  |  March 2nd, 2020  |  1 hr 11 mins

    Judge Sarah Evans Barker not only has received “Living Legend” status from the Indiana Historical Society, but also has served on the federal bench since 1984. She sits down with Danielle Shockey and me to discuss her career, being a Hoosier, and why all the hours I’ve spent watching “Law & Order” don’t make me qualified to argue in her courtroom.

  • 54: Michael Browning, Chairman of the Board, Browning Investments

    Episode  |  February 24th, 2020  |  1 hr 43 secs

    Michael Browning is one of the most successful and impactful business and civic leaders in the history of modern Indianapolis; but not only that, he is also a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War. Our conversation with Michael covers his time as a student at Notre Dame where he met Robert F. Kennedy during the 1968 campaign and the importance of our city’s tourism and hospitality industry.

  • 53: Kathy Davis, Former Lt. Governor of Indiana

    Episode  |  February 17th, 2020  |  1 hr 3 mins

    In 2003, Kathy Davis became the first female Lieutenant Governor in Indiana history. On this week’ ‘Leaders and Legends’ podcast, which was recorded at the Golden Ace, we talk with Kathy about her terrific career in public service, the fun she is having as an entrepreneur, and exactly how much brainpower it takes to get degrees both from Harvard and M.I.T.

  • 52: Greg Renoff, Author of “Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal"

    Episode  |  February 10th, 2020  |  1 hr 30 mins

    Van Halen’s eruption onto the national music scene began 42 years ago today—on February 10, 1978. Historian and author Greg Renoff penned a history of the band’s early years titled “Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal.” If you are a fan of the band, the time period, or music in general, please listen to Professor Renoff give us the inside story of how Van Halen—and particularly its guitarist—changed music.

  • 51: How Did Indianapolis Win the Super Bowl? Mark Miles, Mel Raines, and Mayor Ballard Explain

    Episode  |  February 3rd, 2020  |  1 hr 7 mins

    This week’s ‘Leaders and Legends’ podcast gives you the inside story about how Indianapolis won the right to host a Super Bowl and how things like the Super Bowl Village and the Zip Line became a reality. Our guests are Mark Miles, chairman of the Super Bowl Committee; Mel Raines, VP of Event Operations for the Committee, and the official Mayor of the podcast, Greg Ballard, USMC.

  • 50: Eddie White With Stories From His 26 Super Bowls

    Episode  |  January 27th, 2020  |  1 hr 13 mins

    Eddie White is one of the most recognizable names and personalities in our Hoosier sports and entertainment culture. He joins the “Leaders and Legends” podcast again to discuss his attendance at 26 Super Bowls, tells us stories about the games, and how he developed friendships with celebrities like Whitney Houston. We are very grateful to Eddie for his time and friendship.

  • 49: Angela Brown, World-Renowned Soprano Opera Singer

    Episode  |  January 20th, 2020  |  55 mins 9 secs

    Angela Brown is one of our state’s greatest treasures. A graduate of Crispus Attucks, Angela is an opera singer who has performed all around the globe. She talks with us about her childhood in Indianapolis, her career and travels, and why it is critical to make the arts a part of a person’s education.

  • 48: Mike Riley, Campaign Director for Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 Indiana Campaign

    Episode  |  January 13th, 2020  |  1 hr 3 mins

    Mike Riley was the campaign director for Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign in Indiana in 1968. He sits down with the “Leaders and Legends” podcast to discuss that campaign and the experience of working with the Kennedys

  • 47: Robin Winston and Mike McDaniel, Former State Chairs of the Democrats and Republicans

    Episode  |  January 6th, 2020  |  1 hr 8 mins

    Robin Winston and Mike McDaniel were friends while serving as chairmen of their respective political parties and remain friends today. On today’s “Leaders and Legends” podcast Robin and Mike talk about their lives in politics and share some funny stories and great memories. We are very grateful to Jim Shella for serving as co-host.

  • 46: Robert Vane Discusses Leaders and Legends with Chris Spangle

    Episode  |  December 30th, 2019  |  1 hr 16 mins

    We learned a lot about people, places, and events during our “Leaders and Legends” podcasts in 2019. On today’s episode, Chris Spangle talks with your usual host about the podcast, his background, and what we are going to hear about in 2020.

  • 45: Andy Jacobs Jr. Retrospective

    Episode  |  December 16th, 2019  |  1 hr 5 mins

    Congressman Andy Jacobs fought for his country and he fought for his city. He remains one of the shining examples of true public service. On this week’s “Leaders and Legends” podcast, we sit down with three people who knew Andy well—Kim Hood Jacobs, Louis Mahern, and Bill Blomquist—to talk about his career, his military service, and his impact on Indianapolis.

  • 44: Paul Okeson and Mike O’Connor, Chief of Staff to Mayors Ballard and Peterson (Respectively)

    Episode  |  December 9th, 2019  |  1 hr 6 mins

    Paul Okeson and Mike O’Connor served as chief of staff to Mayors Ballard and Peterson respectively. They were known both for their political savvy and also for their willingness to put politics aside to get things done. In this week’s “Leaders and Legends” podcast, we talk to them about the unique challenges they faced and how their time on the 25th floor affected their lives. I love them both.

  • 43: Brian Payne, President & CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation

    Episode  |  December 2nd, 2019  |  1 hr 41 secs

    Brian Payne’s impact on our city and its connectivity includes the Cultural Trail, but also includes so much more than that. On this week’s “Leaders and Legends” podcast, we talk with Brian about his love for our city, his championing of the arts, and what’s next for the Central Indiana Community Foundation.